Understand Your Medicare Options: Insights from IB&C Insurance

If you’re looking for a Medicare plan but don’t know which route to choose, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re retired or you recently qualified for Medicare due to age or personal circumstances, you certainly are not short on options.

Medicare offers a variety of plans suited for different situations — but that could be just the problem! Should you go with Medicare Part C or Medicare Part F? What is Medicare Part D and how much does Medicare Part D cost? What is the real difference between Advantage and Supplement?

These are all valid questions we hear regularly from our clients, and we’ve noticed the available information doesn’t always make your Medicare decisions easy.

Maybe you received an AARP Medicare Supplement Plan pamphlet in the mail and promptly tossed it to the side next to the mailer about United Healthcare Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C).

Or maybe you’re a veteran who is altogether pleased with VA coverage, but you’re worried about coverage in an emergency situation. For example, we recently helped a World War II Veteran in need of a carpal tunnel surgery. He first went to the VA, but he had to wait for them to approve his request. He was in serious pain, so he chose to find another solution. Fortunately, he also had Medicare and a Supplement, so he was able to get the needed surgery within a week. Plus, the surgery was performed locally! No matter what your circumstances are, that’s the kind of coverage you deserve.

Looking at a list of Medicare options can be confusing. In fact, if the price weren’t an issue, we bet you would choose them all just to save yourself the headache.

We hear you loud and clear. Over the last 35 years, our team has helped people in our community create Medicare plans that match their needs and their budget. We don’t just provide more information — there’s plenty of that online — we make sense of it for you.

Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans – Where Do You Stand?

Choosing the right Medicare plan could save you lots of cash — cash you could be spending on your next move, vacation, or even a community class. Here we’ve provided an overview of the Medicare plans and supplements available.

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice, care in a nursing facility, and limited home health care. Medicare Part A is a government program, and you are required to sign up with Medicare directly.

Medicare Part B (Medical Coverage)

Part B covers outpatient services, medical supplies, doctor’s visits, and preventative care. Some people don’t elect to have Medicare Part B either because their employer offers medical or they are covered by their spouse’s insurance. If either of those coverage options become unavailable to you, Part B may be what you need. As with Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B is only offered directly through Medicare. While IB&C does not offer Medicare Part B for this reason, we are happy to consult you on this option.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)

Sometimes referred to as an “all-in-one” plan, Medicare Advantage refers to a variety of private health plans (HMO or PPO) that includes Part A, Part B, and usually Part D as well.

H3 Medicare Part D (Medicare Drug Coverage)

Medicare Part D is considered a supplement that adds prescription drugs to a Medicare plan.

H3 Medicare Part F (Supplement Plan or Medigap)

There’s a reason why most of our clients choose Medicare Supplement Part F plans. Part F plans are the most comprehensive supplement plans that work alongside your basic Medicare (Part A and Part B). The Medicare Supplement Plan F is versatile, as there are many different ways you can mix and match coverage benefits to get the coverage you need. You are eligible for a supplement plan if you are already enrolled in Part A or Part B and you are over the age of 65. You may also qualify if you have a disability.

Medicare Supplement Part F vs. Medicare Advantage Part C

When choosing the most suitable Medicare Plan, most people select Medicare Part A or Part B and add Part D without much trouble. But where most people get stuck is when they have to decide whether to also get Part C or Part F. Here is where we can offer most support, as these supplement options can be tricky to understand.

Medicare Advantage Part C

Medicare Advantage (Part C) certainly has its pros and cons (especially for residents in Grass Valley and surrounding areas, where there are limited medical specialists).

You can think of Medicare Advantage like sitting on a bus. The bus will only stop at bus stops (specialists) on the route (the network). In other words, you’re not going to have free choice with your care.

While Medicare Advantage has slightly lower premiums, you are limited to the network of medical professionals and are required to pay the copay. If you suffer from chronic conditions or were recently diagnosed with a disorder that requires regular and/or specialty care, this plan could prove problematic in our rural area.

Medicare Supplement Part F

Part F has been the most popular choice for baby boomers over the last few years since it adds to the original Medicare plan. With a Medicare supplemental insurance plan (Part F), you’re in the driver’s seat. Part F coverage is completely paid through the premium, and you are not limited to a network.

Although the premiums for Medicare Supplement Part F are slightly higher than Medicare Advantage Part C, Part F could save you a significant sum of money in an emergency situation. For example, we once had a client who suffered a heart attack. He was quickly evacuated by helicopter to Mercy General. After spending two and a half weeks in the hospital recovering, he was pleased to be notified there would be no out-of-pocket charges. That’s right, the bill was $1.6 million and he received 100% coverage – no copays, no deductible, no ambulance fee. That’s the power of Medicare Supplement Plan F.

Making Changes to Your Medicare Plans

Changes to your health plan are inevitable, but with Medicare, there are specific windows of opportunity when you can make changes to your plan.

The last thing you need to worry about is another deadline. We stay up-to-date on policies so you don’t have to. Stop into the office at 1105 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA, or call us directly at (530) 272-1234, to discuss the nuances of these plans. We are happy to review all your options that align with your personal needs.

IB&C is proud to provide Medicare plans for residents in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, Auburn, Roseville, Rocklin, Yuba City, and Marysville.

Request a Medicare Supplement Quote

Request a quote from one of our attentive, thorough and local brokers to find out which Medicare supplement would be right for you.

Call 530-272-1234 or Request a Quote.

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